St. Kuriakose Elijah’s Chavara: A Lovely Fruit Bearing Branch of Jesus and a Holy Priest Filled with Holy Spirit
Jesus, as so often, is working in the passage of the gospel St.John 15:1- 10 with the pictures and ideas which are the part of the religious heritage of Jewish culture. Jesus makes the message very clear that the only one thing that can save us is to have an intimate relationship or a living fellowship with him, because he is the true vine of God. Jesus invites us to be the true branches that are united to him .No external qualification can set a man right with God; only the fellowship of Jesus Christ can do that.
We have an exemplary model in the life of St.Chavara for being united with Jesus.In the light of the gospel passage of St.John 15:1-10, the life of St.Chavara could be well understood as a lovely fruit bearing branch of Jesus. Certainly, Jesus will depict him as a lovely fruit bearing branch of him. Because our limited understanding of the amazing personality of St.Chavara leads us to the truth that St.Chavara had nothing except the joy or the friendship of belonging to Jesus.
Let us gratefully reflect over the blessed life of such a great visionary. Though very limited our understanding is, Father Chavara’s life could be summed up in the following reflections
- A life of deep and intense prayer which thought and acted far ahead of his times
- A man who lived in the light of the vision of God
- A charismatic leader of socio-cultural field who laid down his life in the service of humanity
The late Archbishop Mar Mathew Kavukattu wrote about him; “Fr.Chavara was a great Christian and a very holy monk. While he most scrupulously lived the life of a religious, dedicated to the love and service of God, the same divine love inspired him to devote himself as much as he could, to the love and service of men. It is a long and praise worthy record, his varied enterprises and activities for the religious, social and educational advancement of his fellow men.”
What could be the reason behind his manifold achievements? Even without a shadow of doubt or confusion, everybody will agree to the truth that the intimate fellowship with Jesus endowed him with a graceful existence. He had nothing except the joy of belonging to Jesus. St.Chavara writes in one of his letters; “Above all learn the art of loving Jesus, Stay constantly in his presence, and Walk along with him, Converse with him continuously.”
So, the fellowship with Jesus remains as the heart and soul of the spirituality of St.Chavara. He ascended every day to the hand of the heavenly father and descended every day to the needs of the people. He could grow vertically to the presence of God and horizontally to the needs and context of the people. So ascending to the heavenly father and descending to the needs of the people becomes the sole domain of Chavara spirituality.
Every one of us is called to be the part and parcel of this great legacy and heritage; a legacy of deeply pondered reflections, a heritage of serious intellectual discourse and a culture of reaching out people in their needs. Let us thank the lord for blessing the Indian Church with the charismatic leadership of St.Chavara.
Let us make the efforts to be the faithful inheritors of Chavara spirituality. St.Chavara invites all of us to imprint a tag of God awareness into our psyche and to be the genuine bearers of the spiritual treasures of our catholic faith after the model of St.Charvara. The discontinuity from that consciousness may take us away from the path and dream of such a great visionary of our soil.
Loving Jesus, We pray through the intercession of St.Chavara for the graces to achieve an intimate fellowship with you so that we will become a lovely fruit bearing branch of yourself. May we be enabled to imprint a tag of God consciousness in our heart and soul.